Ambassadors and diplomats at several U.S. embassies are finding a way to honor Pride Month by raising rainbow flags, despite orders to the contrary from the Trump administration.
The State Department’s rejection of several requests from embassies to fly the rainbow pride flag this month have not deterred diplomatic missions in Seoul, South Korea, and Chennai, India as well as the U.S. embassy in New Delhi which found a way, according to The Washington Post.
Although President Trump is the first Republican president to issue a statement honoring Pride Month, requests to hoist the rainbow flag on the flagpole along with Old Glory have been denied, though they may be displayed on walls of the embassy,
Some diplomats, it seems, have taken the decision-making upon themselves and have launched flag raising events and other commemorations despite the official word from Washington, D.C.
“This is a category one insurrection,” one diplomat, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Washington Post.
The U.S. embassy in New Delhi decorated its building with rainbow lights, as seen in photos shared on Twitter.
— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) June 4, 2019
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai posted a video of the Consul General speaking in front of a large rainbow flag on the building.
Marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia last month, the Pride flag was shown flying below the American flag on the website for the U.S. Embassy in Vienna and the website for the embassy in Santiago, Chile
U.S. diplomats in Jerusalem attended local Pride events, including a March for Pride and Tolerance, according to the Post. Same-sex weddings are still prohibited in Israel. In addition, the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry, shared a photo on Twitter of himself and embassy staff holding up letters that spelled “PRIDE 19.”
Today, along with the U.S. Mission in Nepal community, I join people around the world in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex #PrideMonth, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to defending human rights for all. #Pride2019 pic.twitter.com/5awKWtcP80
— Ambassador Randy Berry (@USAmbNepal) June 1, 2019
A large pride flag was displayed a few stories up on the Embassy building in Seoul, South Korea.
At the Seoul Pink Dot Festival. Congrats to Seoul Queer Culture Festival’s 20th anniversary. LGBTI rights = Human Rights. USA is committed to defending human rights for all, incl LGBTI persons. Have a safe and happy Pride Month! pic.twitter.com/tZNh0KeH75
— Harry Harris (@USAmbROK) May 31, 2019
The move by the Trump administration this year is apparently a change from last year when, as Time noted, “all requests to fly pride flags on embassy flagpoles were approved by the State Department.” The change, which is also a reversal from the State Department policy under former President Barack Obama, took place once Mike Pompeo was confirmed as Secretary of State.
U.S. embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil and Latvia were among those which were reportedly denied permission to fly the rainbow flag on flagpoles at the embassy, according to NBC News. Despite the directive, the ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell – who is openly gay – issued a statement announcing the many events planned.
“The President’s recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign gives me even more pride to once again march in the Berlin Pride parade, hang a huge banner on the side of the Embassy recognizing our pride, host multiple events at the Embassy and the residence, and fly the gay pride flag,” Grenell said in a statement last week, according to NBC News.
Embassy spokesman Joseph Giordono-Scholz indicated that the “pride flag will be on as many places as it can at the Embassy,” without addressing if it will specifically be flown on the flagpole outside of the building.